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Our safety is at stake

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

While domestic trial data on their use still needs to be made public, it becomes harder to quell the pandemic each time a public figure casts a vaccine in doubt. This is a national crisis. Keep petty politics out of it

The good news is that the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved a couple of vaccines. The bad news is that public confidence in our vaccination programme could be shaken by the irresponsible behaviour of a few. After announcing the approvals at a press conference on Sunday, DCGI officials refused to take any question. An opportunity to dispel public misgivings over the efficacy and side-effects of these jabs was lost. This could prove counter-productive to the aim of snuffing covid out.

Even worse was the appalling attempt by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav to give vaccines a political hue. He tweeted his refusal to take what he labelled as a “BJP vaccine", which he said he didn’t trust. This politicization of a mass exercise that could fail without the bipartisan cooperation of citizens deserves severe condemnation. These jabs have been developed by scientists and endorsed by the world’s scientific establishment. While domestic trial data on their use still needs to be made public, it becomes harder to quell the pandemic each time a public figure casts a vaccine in doubt. This is a national crisis. Keep petty politics out of it.

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